share pictures of the horses *you* know!

I love Instagram.

I shied away from it for a long time given my questionable photography skills, but finally gave it a shot in 2015.  Posting horse pictures there has been fun, as has looking at everyone else’s horse pictures.  Though my Twitter and Facebook pages are a little bit of everything, I’ve focused my Instagram to be completely horsey.  I post nothing but horse-related pictures on there.  My timeline abounds with racehorses, foals, and riding horses.  It’s my Internet happy place.

Still, there’s one thing on Instagram that makes my blood boil: accounts that take other people’s pictures and use blanket phrases like “photos not mine” or “credit to the photographer”.  No, that’s not evidence of permission, and that’s not proper credit.  There are plenty of pieces out there already about why stealing people’s photos and posting them without credit is not okay.  This won’t be a treatise on copyright law.

Instead, I will be positive.  If you are going to post on Instagram, focus on posting your own pictures.  Your pictures are you, and your pictures are enough.

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individuals, institutions, and That Breeders’ Cup Tweet

If you haven’t read Teresa Genaro’s article at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, The Breeders’ Cup and that misguided ‘locker room’ tweet, please do.  It provides the backstory for this entire discussion, including the original (now-deleted) tweets).

Earlier today, I saw an exchange between Teresa Genaro and Emily Shields, about getting across the point that the biggest step over the line was the Breeders’ Cup’s retweet of Bram Weinstein’s original tweet.

Genaro’s point in the article, and Shields’s point online, made instinctive sense to me even last Saturday during the frenzy of the Breeders’ Cup.  Bram Weinstein’s original tweet was crass enough, but the Breeders’ Cup imprimatur somehow made it seem worse.

I have a thought on why.

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This morning, Centennial Farms announced that Juba has retired to stud.

Twitter lit up.

Then again, Twitter lit up when Juba did anything: if he entered a race, if he worked.  If he won, if he lost.  If someone visited his stall and fired up Periscope on their phone.

For something that started as a way to cheer on stablemate Wicked Strong, Juba’s Twitter account became far more than that.  His account became a textbook example of how to do the Tweeting Horse right.

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dreams, aspirations, and tweeting horses

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I love horse Twitter accounts.  I follow dozens, and chat with some of the tweeting horses rather frequently.  Some people may find the accounts silly, but for some horse racing fans, they are a fun way to stay on top of the sport.  I wish more people in horse racing would set up Twitter accounts for their horses, or at least for their barns.  They are no magic panacea for drumming up interest in the sport, but they can help along that path.  They can be a useful way to engage fans who enjoy using social media and who have a bit of a sense of humour about the sport.  I could not care less what level a horse runs at: if an account associated with a racehorse has fun pictures, good information, or anything that makes me happy as a horse racing fan, then it can bring some good to the sport.

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